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Gargi Banerji

Gargi Banerji: India’s First Youngest Cricketer to Debut

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In the Indian cricket history, there are stories that stand out, tales of individuals who broke barriers and carved their names in the sport’s hallowed legacy. One such story is that of Gargi Banerji, a young talent who etched her name as India’s youngest cricket debutant.

Early Days and First Big Game

Gargi Banerji was born in Kolkata, India, on July 20, 1961. She started playing cricket when she was very young. In fact, she played her first international match when she was not even 15 years old. It was a One-Day International (ODI) match against England at the famous Eden Gardens stadium. But in her early years, her performance in ODIs wasn’t very impressive. She played 26 matches over eight years and had an average score of 15.73.

Getting into Test Cricket

Six years later, she got the chance to play Test cricket. In her first Test match, India had five other new players, and Australia had seven. In the second part of that game, Gargi scored more than 50 runs, which was a big achievement. She also scored another fifty in the fourth Test of that series, and the whole series ended in a draw with no team winning.

Standout Moments in ODIs

Even though her ODI record wasn’t amazing, Gargi Banerji had some remarkable moments. One of the highlights was when she took 6 wickets for just 9 runs in a match against New Zealand in Cuttack. This was a fantastic performance. She was then chosen to play in England in 1986, where she scored 60 and 75 runs in the Blackpool Test. However, someone else in the team scored a century, so her performance was a bit overshadowed.

Later Years and Tour of Australia

In 1991, she got the opportunity to play in Australia as part of India’s team. Unfortunately, she didn’t perform very well in the two Test matches she played, and this marked the end of her international cricket journey.

How She Started Playing Cricket

She always been enthusiast about sports and grew up playing football, basketball and badminton at the Young Women Christian Association (YWCA). Later she began playing cricket seriously when she joined a cricket camp for women in Calcutta. She started by playing for the Bengal state cricket team and then worked her way up to the national team.

First Youngest Cricket Debutant

The youngest cricketer to ever represent India in all formats is a remarkable woman named Gargi Banerji. Imagine, at just 14 years and 165 days old, she made her debut in 1978. But what makes her story even more incredible is that her debut wasn’t in an ordinary match. It happened on the grand stage of a World Cup game against England at the famous Eden Gardens in Kolkata. This historic moment occurred during the second edition of the women’s World Cup. Gargi Banerji’s journey is truly one for the record books.

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Personal Information & How She Played

Full NameGargi Banerjee
Born20 July 1961 (age 62)
Place of BirthKolkata, India
NicknameGougo
Batting StyleRight-hand bat
Bowling StyleRight-arm medium fast

Gargi Banerji International Career Highlights

Gargi Banerjee played her very first Test match from January 21 to 23 in the year 1984, and her last Test match happened between February 9 and 12 in 1991. As for her One-Day International (ODI) matches, she made her debut on January 1, 1978, and her final ODI took place on July 27, 1986. These dates mark the beginning and end of her journey in Test and ODI cricket.

International Information

National SideIndia
Test Debut (cap 16)21 January 1984 v Australia
Last Test9 February 1991 v Australia
ODI Debut (cap 1)1 January 1978 v England
Last ODI27 July 1986 v England
Career StatisticsWTestWODI
Matches1226
Runs Scored614409
Batting Average27.9015.73
100s/50s0/60/2
Top Score7561
Balls Bowled329291
Wickets86
Bowling Average17.1228.66
5 Wickets in Innings10
10 Wickets in Match00
Best Bowling6/92/23
Catches/Stumpings3/06/0

Gargi Banerji Records

  • Most Runs in a Career Without a Hundred: 614 (Women’s Test matches)
  • No Ducks in Career: 22 (Women’s Test matches)
  • Outstanding Bowling Performance in One Innings: 6/9 (Women’s Test matches)
  • Best Strike Rate in One Innings: 9.6 (Women’s Test matches)
  • Most Wickets Taken Hit Wicket: 1 (Women’s Test matches)
  • Highest Partnership for the First Wicket: 153 (Women’s Test matches)
  • Most Catches in One Innings: 3 (Women’s One-Day Internationals)

Achievements

Gargi Banerji made a big impression with her batting skills, and Madhavrao Scindia, a well-known figure in cricket, offered her a job in the cricket field. She played an important role in improving women’s cricket in India in different ways.

From 2011 to 2014, she was in charge of selecting players for the Indian women’s cricket team. During her time as the chairperson, she gave opportunities to young female cricketers who were just starting. She believed that the more matches these budding cricketers played, the better they would understand the difference between playing at the local level and playing for India internationally.

In April 2017, she received an honor called the honorary life membership of the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC), which is a prestigious recognition in cricket. She is now an inspiration for young girls who dream of becoming cricketers. Gargi Banerji continues to motivate and support girls who want to choose cricket as a possible career.

Later she was appointed as the manager of the India Women’s cricket team for their tour of Australia, showing her ongoing dedication to the sport.

Conclusion

Gargi Banerji’s journey in the world of cricket is a tale of determination, passion, and breaking barriers. She started her cricketing journey at a very young age and made her international debut while still a teenager. Despite facing challenges and not achieving immediate success, she persevered and eventually made her mark in both Test and ODI cricket.

Banerji’s remarkable achievements, such as her outstanding bowling performance, no ducks in her career, and impressive partnerships, showcase the potential that lies within every aspiring female cricketer. Her dedication to the sport led to her being chosen as the manager for the India Women’s cricket team, even after her playing career had ended.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is Gargi Banerji?

Gargi Banerji is a former Indian women’s cricketer who made her international debut at a very young age.

Who is the youngest Indian cricket player to debut?

The youngest cricketer to ever represent India in all formats is a remarkable woman named Gargi Banerji. Imagine, at just 14 years and 165 days old, she made her debut in 1978.

Disclaimer- The above information is based on research over internet. If you find any mistakes please feel free to contact us.

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